Vanguard junior Seth Fuqua won’t stretch to call himself a 6-footer. He never considered leaving Vanguard for a bigger program to get more exposure.
The Coursers’ honest 5-11 guard is happy right where he’s at — ranking among the top six scorers in the state while leading the small-school Coursers to their best start in program history.
“He’s just comfortable in his own skin,” Vanguard coach Joe Wetters said.
Since the age of 2, Fuqua has had a basketball in his hands. He learned the game’s fundamentals from his father, including a silky-smooth shooting stroke. That focus with tireless repetition has turned him into one of the most exciting high school players no has heard enough of.
So far with Vanguard, Fuqua’s finely tuned game has overshadowed his lack in size on the court. The small-statured guard has burned the net with jumpers and sped around defenses as if they were dipped in honey in his two-plus years with the Coursers.
As a freshman, Fuqua averaged 25.7 points. And by the midway point of his sophomore season, he’d already become the school’s all-time scoring leader.
“He could have gone to a bigger program that maybe offered him more history and culture,” Wetters said. “But instead of being the next guy at another school he wanted to be the first Seth at Vanguard.”
Prepping for his junior year Fuqua took his game to another level, joining a traveling club team, the Colorado Chaos.
Because of the experience, he said he’s grown more confident. He’s now better equipped to find his own shot and he’s also taken strides on defense and on the boards.
“Playing club really puts it into perspective on what’s out there and what you can learn and take from other guys,” Fuqua said. “When I was playing against those guys, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Just because ‘wow’, there are great players out there and I really need to step up and get better.”
Through nine games this season, Fuqua is averaging 28.3 points — third-best in 3A. And with a strong supporting cast around him, Vanguard is 8-1 on the season and 2-0 in the 3A Tri-Peaks League.
Last year the Coursers finished third in league and made their first trip to the 3A state postseason.
This year, they hope to go further.
“Right after last season ended we were in the gym working and I think we’re seeing all of that come to fruition,” said Vanguard junior Carter Milroy, whose team lost to Lutheran in the first round in March. “We believe we’re one of the best teams in 3A.”
On Saturday, Fuqua scored 26 points and the Coursers went for a program-most 103 points in a 103-50 win over Eagle Ridge Academy.
It was Fuqua’s 39th game in high school with 20-plus points. Ask him about it though, and the small guard with a big game will tell you he’s just happy with the win.
“I don’t care if I score three or 30 points,” Fuqua said. “As long as we get the ‘W’ it does not matter to me.”